At our recent annual Webforum company conference just outside Stockholm, Pelle Hjortblad (formerly CEO of Project Place and now on the Webforum Europe board) gave an introductory speech on Cloud Computing and the impact it will have on companies everywhere.
A lot is written about this subject and like everything potentially disruptive there is often a lot of hype on what it will mean and how it will change things. Here we explore a few of the many questions in the subject and take a decision-makers perspective.
The changing face of the IT department – why do it all in-house?
IT has faced change as computer power has increased and moved from centrally run machines to PCs on every desk and then the expansion of internet usage to communicate and transact with the outside world. This evolution has shifted control and even power to internal IT departments and formed a large share of a company’s costs.
Most companies had a large IT department requiring high internal knowledge to understand business needs, manage changes and upgrades to infrastructure. Add to that the need to keep up with advances in technology and not to mention the latest security threats. Often companies IT expertise exceeded that of their core business.
Cloud computing is changing that strain on the IT department to be experts in all areas of technology by shifting the responsibility for many functions to vendors and their specialist data hosting providers. This should allow IT to focus their valuable resources on the needs of their company rather than just fighting to keep systems operational.
Information security: the cloud is probably already in your company
With the increase in free or very low cost personal management tools for sharing files and other information many teams within organisations are bypassing the IT department and just using these to help them be more productive.
Do you know who has access to what information as well as whether data integrity and audit trails are being maintained according to company policies? After all certain company information is more likely to be of more interest to internal staff than anyone external – it is not just overall access but the ability to control who has access to what.
With the spread of social media and demands on project productivity making the right tools available is still essential. Using online enterprise-class tools for collaboration and information management gives access to the right people while maintaining oversight.